Metareality Podcast 2013-13 -The Return of The Reed

30:45 Reed points out the resource constraints that have made the Materials System, which we hope to see in a couple of months, a 6 year project, per Karl. He feels that is bad management.

31:20 Drax shifts the discussion to talking about what he is learning from his interviews from people developing ideas for and working in Second Life.

I think there is something important disclosed in this section. Drax has information he cannot disclose. Reed wants proof  in the form of specific examples before he is willing to believe Drax’s comments about what is going on in the Lab; like the Lab taking a long-term view and the realization of the Lab that some things are going to take longer than anyone projected.

32:20 Gianna sums this train of thought up… sort of…

33:20 Drax points out the changes in management and with that SL being is in a different era and there being different reasons for why things were/are messed up. Gianna asks if people are just supposed to start over and shift directions every 2 or 3 years. Drax points out: this is how America works. People learn and shift directions constantly. Our society has a growing problem dealing with long term projects.

34:20 Gianna recalls Rod Humble in Aug 2011 making a number of promises not yet delivered as of 2013 and has not spoken since 2011… well, not in a direct to SL users fashion as the SLCC 2011 format.

35:00 Karl summarizes the positions of Drax and Gianna-Reed as positive and likely to turn around verses unlikely to turn around. Both have the possibility of being right. We will have to wait and see.

35:40 Gianna thinks the Lab has made a conscious choice to stop communicating. Karl disagreed. The problem is not that simple. He thinks it is something in the culture, because Karl could not change it from within. Rod might change things and is trying. Now Gianna feels Rod is all talk. I suggest you take a look at Rod Humble Speech Released for insight into Rod.

37:00 Drax talks about what he is learning from the people he is interviewing. Gianna complaining she is tired of running the SL platform for them.

38:00 Jo Yardley posted on Facebook: This is what I hope Second Life will one day look like.
An amazing, no, STUNNING bit of virtual time travel. Rod Humble
 organize the SL bit, Palmer Luckey bring the Oculus Rift headset, Draxtor Despres will make the video and I’ll build the historical city.

Rod Humble responded: Just a little patience and this will happen.

The world Jo is talking about is De Gouden Ueuw or The Golden Age. Follow the link in Jo’s post to see the video. This is an awesome video quality. But, it looks like a computer farm render one would do for a Hollywood movie more than it does a real time virtual world. This is the kind of thing we can do with Blender where each frame of the video takes minutes to hours to render. Think a frames per second rate of  0.0000278 or 1 frame per hour.

Gianna comments about Rod’s comment to Jo Yardley being like a Catholic priest saying the second coming of the Christ will be any day now, which is something humans have listened to for a couple of thousand years. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It just puts the idea of ‘soon’ in some perspective.

39:50 Drax and Rreed have an ongoing disagreement over the importance of graphics. On Drax’s side is a huge amount of research that shows graphics quality has almost nothing to do with player retention. On Reed’s side is a substantial amount of research that shows graphics quality has a significant amount to do with initial decisions to sign up. But, no one, AFAIK, has been able to quantify the graphics quality required to define the point at which people’s decisions change.

Drax feels graphics is not holding SL back. Reed disagrees. I look at the number of people that avoid enabling Deferred Rendering or even have computers capable of it and tend to agree with Drax.

Gianna brings up the problems of getting a new player, like her boy friend, in. Those are a major set of issues in her mind and I agree, as do Reed, Drax, and Karl.

41:30 Drax questions whether that problem is all up to the Lab and asks about the people that have items for sale that are easy to use unpack. There are scripts now that catch if someone tries to wear a boxed item, unpacks it places it in inventory then advises the player what to do to wear/use the item. So, is this the Lab’s problems or users that do not keep up with the SL tech?

43:40 Changing the subject, Gianna brings up Bitcoin gambling. The guy doing one Bitcom gaming thing is clearing US$500,000 per month. Reed is claiming it is illegal for US citizens to run or offer online gambling. I think he is thinking of the 1999 Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, which did not pass. The reality is a bit bizarre. As part of a 2006 Safe Port Act gambling is legal just the exchange of money is illegal if the Internet is involved in betting. Fantasy sports are permitted as are several other forms of gambling. In reality it is a legal nightmare with the Justice Department prosecuting whenever it suites their agenda and ignoring free trade treaties that require full market access to businesses legal in their home country.

With some creative thinking and a willingness to test the laws something like a Unity based 3D virtual casino could be tried. For now US citizens have basically lost that freedom and the Justice Dept has ordered planes to rerouted so citizens outside the US can be arrested without the cooperation of other countries.

46:30 Obligatory Xanax section.

47:15 MTV’s Catfish show is about how young people who have embraced the digital age find love. The show brings people together that have only ever met online to meet for the first time in RL. You can imagine some of the problems. Second Life is a prime feeding ground for the show.

49:00 MTV contacted Linden Lab. The Lab is advertising for MTV. Plus there is a load of news in the web media about the ideas. Whatever, discussion starts as to what is happening in SL and what is being portrayed by the Catfish show and whether that is good or bad for SL.

51:15 Karl is saying some opinions given by panel members in podcast are wrong as the opinionated have not even watched the show. But, he has not seen it either. His push is to keep an open mind. I’ve written about the opinionated not bothering with facts before.

53:00 One example is a National Geographic coverage of fantasy lives with Stroker Serpentine included, the renowned one time sex bed animator of SL, was shown on Taboo. I’ll warn you these shows can be disturbing. You’ll find the part about Stroker starting at 34:40+/-.

54:00 Gianna believes Ling Lab is not balancing SL negative and positive promotional material. Most companies dependent on their Internet presence aggressively defend their reputation and challenge negative coverage. Allowing articles on review sites that use old images and contain out of date information is not helping the Lab’s reputation.

55:30 Drax wonders why is not LL doing proactive promotion. They could have a person that follows the Internet for any coverage of SL. Offer those writing about SL information, art, and accurate facts. Plus have a person that can provide answers to questions from the media. When they find negative coverage add comments to counter the negative information.

57:00 Gianna is convinced Rosedale is the only person ever able to sell SL. He is not involved so much now, so there is no champion for SL.

57:50 Gianna on Drax’s videos: The Drax Files – World Makers. Several of us are covering these as they come out. In this section Drax is commenting on his work and what he is doing and hints at what is coming.

58:50 End – Sponsors.

While they are not my sponsors, I still want to thank Botgirl’s Digital Playground, AngelRED Couture, Kahruvel Design, and Virtual Vision 2020 for sponsoring Matereality Podcasts. Check these guys out.


I want to get this post up. So, I’ll post it and write my comments and analysis of this in a follow up.

One thought on “Metareality Podcast 2013-13 -The Return of The Reed

  1. Not to put too fine a point on it but Guild Wars seems to have a handle on things. Thanks for the cast notes, interesting……

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